Japji Sahib

Japji Sahib Meanings | Part #3

These blogs are derived from Sri Guru’s Satsangs on Shri Japji Sahib, giving a brief interpretation of the Pauris by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. For a deeper understanding, we encourage you to watch the complete Japji Sahib series on Youtube.


Pauri # 5

थापिआ न जाइ कीता न होइ ॥
आपे आपि निरंजनु सोइ ॥
जिनि सेविआ तिनि पाइआ मानु ॥
नानक गावीऐ गुणी निधानु ॥
गावीऐ सुणीऐ मनि रखीऐ भाउ ॥
दुखु परहरि सुखु घरि लै जाइ ॥
गुरमुखि नादं गुरमुखि वेदं गुरमुखि रहिआ समाई ॥
गुरु ईसरु गुरु गोरखु बरमा गुरु पारबती माई ॥
जे हउ जाणा आखा नाही कहणा कथनु न जाई ॥
गुरा इक देहि बुझाई ॥
सभना जीआ का इकु दाता सो मै विसरि न जाई ॥५॥

Context

In this Pauri, Guru Nanak Dev Ji says that the nature of is Eternal, one that cannot be obtained by indulging in blind idol worship (which was quite prevalent at that time). Further, he is emphasizing the invaluable role of a Living Master (Guru) in attaining that state where we can feel God’s presence everywhere and in everything. In the Mool Mantra also, it has been said that the Supreme can be realized only by Guru’s grace (Guru Prasad).

Meaning

थापिआ न जाइ कीता न होइ ॥
God cannot be created, thus how could He ever be encompassed in the physical form of a small idol! Whether we are carving an idol or installing it at some place, we must not forget that is a symbolic way of expressing our faith and reverence. In no way we should think that we have ‘created’ God, for His vastness could never be confined in such a small physical space. He is the Eternal.

आपे आपि निरंजनु सोइ ॥
He is formless, limitless, complete, and away from the grasp of Illusion (Maya).

जिनि सेविआ तिनि पाइआ मानु ॥
Here, Guru Nanak Dev says that mere idol worship is futile, unless we follow the Divine Will. For to worship God, is to embrace His Hukam with all sincerity. It is what shall elevate our consciousness to the state of Nirbhai and Nirvair.

नानक गावीऐ गुणी निधानु ॥
Sing, rejoice about God’s infinite virtues and fill your hearts with gratitude, says Guru Nanak.

गावीऐ सुणीऐ मनि रखीऐ भाउ ॥
Singing, listening and reminiscing about Him with love and devotion is the way to attune with the Supreme. Although from whom to listen about God, gets further clear in the upcoming lines of this Pauri.

दुखु परहरि सुखु घरि लै जाइ ॥
His remembrance and devotion ends all our sorrows and helps us discover the long-lasting joy within ourselves.

गुरमुखि नादं गुरमुखि वेदं गुरमुखि रहिआ समाई ॥
True understanding and experience of His Eternal nature and Divine Will arrives by listening only to an enlightened Guru. Everything a Sadguru says becomes the Word of scripture. It is only from a Guru that one truly understands God is omnipresent and all-pervading.

गुरु ईसरु गुरु गोरखु बरमा गुरु पारबती माई ॥
For us seekers, Guru is Shiva, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Brahma and Guru is Goddess Parvati. In a way, everything is present in one Guru only. As Guru is not just a human being in physical form, but a soul in harmony with the Supreme, and therefore wields the power of all Gods and Goddesses.

जे हउ जाणा आखा नाही कहणा कथनु न जाई ॥
One who attains that realization about God still cannot express His Supremacy in words. This can also be interpreted as that a Guru, who has attained that blissful experience of God, who is overflowing with joy and compassion to reveal it to others, still falls short of the words to describe. Such is the beauty of that experience.

गुरा इक देहि बुझाई ॥
Having attained that experience, having tasted that nectar, a Living Master (Guru) is one who quenches the seeker’s thirst.

सभना जीआ का इकु दाता सो मै विसरि न जाई ॥५॥
A Guru, with immense grace and compassion, leads us to that experience of Oneness with the Supreme from whom everything has evolved. Such an experience is rare and invaluable, so is the presence of a Guru in our life and should therefore, never be forgotten.

Purport
  1. Idol worship is a way to express our faith towards God, but we should not deem it as the absolute path, for His vastness cannot be confined in a physical form.
  2. Guru is one who is in harmony with God and therefore, has the virtues of all Gods and Goddesses within.
  3. The experience of Oneness attained with the Guru’s guidance should never be forgotten.

Pauri # 6

तीरथि नावा जे तिसु भावा विणु भाणे कि नाइ करी ॥
जेती सिरठि उपाई वेखा विणु करमा कि मिलै लई ॥
मति विचि रतन जवाहर माणिक जे इक गुर की सिख सुणी ॥
गुरा इक देहि बुझाई ॥
सभना जीआ का इकु दाता सो मै विसरि न जाई ॥६॥

Context

In continuation with the previous verse, Guru Nanak Dev says that the union with God is not attained by merely going to pilgrimage, reading scriptures, reciting prayers, fasting etc. for these are external acts which cannot lead us to liberation. What matters is His glance of Grace. If one has received this, one is blessed. That Grace comes through a Guru who propels us to the experience of Oneness.

Meaning

तीरथि नावा जे तिसु भावा विणु भाणे कि नाइ करी ॥
Without understanding or purpose, merely visiting a pilgrimage and bathing in holy rivers cannot bring us to God. Without understanding, it becomes an empty effort.

जेती सिरठि उपाई वेखा विणु करमा कि मिलै लई ॥
Guru Nanak Dev says, I look all round in this entire creation, and realize that without His Grace nothing can ever be attained.

मति विचि रतन जवाहर माणिक जे इक गुर की सिख सुणी ॥
By listening to a Guru’s teachings and with God’s grace, we discover the immense riches within ourselves. These riches are in the form of virtues – the intellect to distinguish between permanent and transient, and the right understanding & perspective to act in various circumstances in life.

गुरा इक देहि बुझाई ॥
Having attained that experience, having tasted that nectar, a Guru is one who quenches the seeker’s thirst.

सभना जीआ का इकु दाता सो मै विसरि न जाई ॥६॥
A Guru leads us to Oneness with the Supreme. This experience of oneness is rare and invaluable, so is the presence of a Guru in our life and should therefore, never be forgotten.


Pauri # 7

जे जुग चारे आरजा होर दसूणी होइ ॥
नवा खंडा विचि जाणीऐ नालि चलै सभु कोइ ॥
चंगा नाउ रखाइ कै जसु कीरति जगि लेइ ॥
जे तिसु नदरि न आवई त वात न पुछै के ॥
कीटा अंदरि कीटु करि दोसी दोसु धरे ॥
नानक निरगुणि गुणु करे गुणवंतिआ गुणु दे ॥
तेहा कोइ न सुझई जि तिसु गुणु कोइ करे ॥७॥

Context

Here, Guru Nanak Dev asserts that no amount of worldly fame, social status, long life, etc. could ever help us win the goodwill of God and bring us closer to Him. That blissful communion can only happen through His Grace. If having worldly pleasures is our sole ambition, then we are rendering this rare opportunity of human life useless.

Meaning

जे जुग चारे आरजा होर दसूणी होइ ॥
You may receive a lifetime that equals or even exceeds ten times the collective span of the four Yugas (Satiyuga, Tretayuga, Dwaparyuga and Kaliyuga)

नवा खंडा विचि जाणीऐ नालि चलै सभु कोइ ॥
Furthermore, you may gain the fame that extends throughout the entire existence of the nine planets, where everyone respects and follows you.

चंगा नाउ रखाइ कै जसु कीरति जगि लेइ ॥
Furthermore, you may build a good name for yourself or acquire a great societal standing everywhere owing to your deeds and service.

जे तिसु नदरि न आवई त वात न पुछै के ॥
But all such worldly acclaim and accomplishment is worthless if you do not have the Grace of God and the virtues of Nirbhai and Nirvair.  Without Grace, a life of such transient successes is so void of meaning, that it is not even worth discussion.

कीटा अंदरि कीटु करि दोसी दोसु धरे ॥
A life without His grace, that is, a life where one has everything, yet he does not put in the right efforts is like the lowliest worm amongst worms, having unending vices within.

नानक निरगुणि गुणु करे गुणवंतिआ गुणु दे ॥
O Nanak, such is His grace that He makes them virtuous those who aren’t, and bestows even more virtues to those who are. Such is His unconditional love for all, that He keeps giving abundantly to all and never asks anything in return.

तेहा कोइ न सुझई जि तिसु गुणु कोइ करे ॥७॥
Guru Nanak Dev says, there is none else who can transform our vices into virtues, none except a Guru. The transformational energies of God manifest only through a Guru.

Purport

No amount of worldly possessions, fame and riches can bring us closer to Him unless we do the right efforts. In fact, all such worldly possessions along with our ignorance towards self-effort become a cause us to devolve to lower levels of consciousness.


Have a deeper understanding of above Pauris through Sri Guru’s Satsang:

Compiled by Bharat Bhushan Prabhu


Bliss of Wisdom is a blog for seekers who are in search of their real Self. It is published by Shrimad Rajchandra Mission Delhi – a spiritual revolutionary movement founded by Sri Guru. She is a spiritual Master who has transformed innumerable lives through her logical explanations and effective meditation techniques. To know more, visit srmdelhi.org

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